13.–31.8.2014 Hippolyte and Saari Residence Present: The Bill Burns Show

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

The Bill Burns Show continues the exhibition collaboration between Photographic Gallery Hippolyte and the Saari Residence.

In his work, the Canadian artist Bill Burns takes a humorous yet critical view of power structures in the world of art. Focusing on the interrelations between the art market, nature and politics, many of his works contain a discernible tension between nature and industrialisation.

Burns sees the art market and its financial policies as part of the power structures of the art world, alluding to its unpredictable and exceptional system. One of the concepts Burns uses in his investigation of the art market and the demand for art is “Veblen good”, a reference to economist Thorstein Veblen’s theory of goods whose demand grows as their price goes up.

In his art, Bill Burns often appeals to notable persons in the art world. He lists, evokes and even prays to famous curators, museum directors and other art celebrities. While taking a critical view of the art world and its power structures, Burns nevertheless hold the persons and institutions he names in high regard. The exhibition challenges us to examine critically the modes of operation and institutions that surround us.

In addition to photographs, the exhibition at Hippolyte includes also watercolours and scale models as well as a completely new three-channel video work. The Bill Burns Show also includes public panel discussions on topical themes raised by the exhibition.

Bill Burns (Toronto) received his Master’s degree in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths’ College in London in 1988.He has exhibited widely, including at MoMA in New York, the Stedelijk in Amsterdam, Seoul Museum of Art in Korea, ICA in London, and KW in Berlin.He has also participated in biennales in Havana, Cuba, and Ushuaia in Argentina.

The Bill Burns Show is the second exhibition in a collaboration launched in 2013 between Photographic Gallery Hippolyte and the Saari Residence. Saari Residence is a residence programme for artists and researchers maintained by the Kone Foundation at Mynämäki, Finland. Burns worked at the residence in 2012.


14.8.2014, 17.00
Bill Burns, Taru Elfving & Marja-Terttu Kivirinta
discussion in English

22.8.2014, 17.00
Jussi Koitela as moderator
discussion in Finnish


The Bill Burns Show
Open: Tue–Fri 12–17, Sat–Sun 12–16


Yrjönkatu 8–10 (courtyard), 00120 Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 612 33 44, www.hippolyte.fi


06_Bill_Burns_ExplainingCelebrityLogstoMembersof the Board copyBill Burns, Meeting of the Board  (after Brion Gysen and William Burroughs) , 2011.